Friday, March 30, 2012
Labels: fly fishing yellowfish, Middle Vaal Fly Fishing Reports, Middle Vaal Reports, Vaal river, Vaal river flies, Vaal river flyfishing, yellowfish, Yellowfish flies
The state of the river has left most fishermen depressed and avoiding the river. I do not foresee an improvement in the quality of Barrage water in the next few weeks so the outlook is bleak. Talks of flushing the Barrage system is short term and will not improve the quality of water in the open system downstream – in fact the opposite will happen. Continued pressure is the only way we will get the required changes. Instead of launching a lone crusade a good idea would be to join up with the guys from SAVE www.save.org.za
If you need to get the fix my suggestion is to travel or explore the lesser know rivers and tributary streams of the Vaal. I can see and feel the onset of winter, the changes are very subtle but enough for you to have to start making changes to your approach. The fish will be out of the shallow riffles and rapids, only venturing there late afternoon if the food is there. Start a bit later in the morning and search the deeper water below the rapids. It will require better line or fly control to connect to the fish.
Update! Since my post to FOSAF I've received some very positive reports on the river. Photo evidence suggest visibility is cracking - around 1 meter maybe more. That means one thing, get out and onto the river in the following few weeks. Don't forget to pack the dry flies, conditions will be perfect for sight fishing.
Over the years I've been trying to improve the quality of the photos on the Blog, and I think I'm getting there. But Chris and his mates have upped the bar with this video of a day out on the Vaal. Awesome work guys, like the editing
Carl & Keith
Posted by Carl Nicholson at 12:42 PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Labels: Dullstroom;trout fishing;, fly fishing yellowfish, Middle Vaal Fly Fishing Reports, Vaal river, Vaal river fly fishing, yellowfish
Blanking is not a concept I’m used to in fishing. Certainly not when the other members of the party are successful – my son, my wife and my complete novice mate Hennie weighing in with a 1.8kg trout.
Driving to Dullies I was reminiscing about my introductory days to fly fishing. I was the same age as my son - 10 with tons of enthusiasm and a real love for the veldt I got from my dad. Boy how much has changed since then and how much have I learnt over the years.
I very rarely blanked in the early days because I was relentlessly pursuing the trout knowing that they have to eat at some stage. I think I was better prepared and focused in those days - I only had to pack MY gear, now it's food, wine kids stuff, photographic equipment etc.
|No subdued colours |
yet the fish take the fly?
In mitigation I did not use a sinking line and the successful members of the family held onto the only intermediate. These days I very rarely fish for trout so the usefulness of a sinker in my tackle bag literally disintegrated and I never replaced it. If I blanked with free rising trout all around me I would consider it a failure in my fishing ability :-).
The conditions dictated that I relent and get down where the fish are. Warm water due to a few weeks of hot weather and less rain than normal, meant the surface was void of feeding fish. I just hate those days when the visual aspect of fly fishing is taken out of the equation so I improvised and spent some of my fishing time taking photos. Reading Peter’s report on Dullstroom this week I’m not feeling so bad.
It is a good thing the Vaal is in great condition compared to the corresponding months the last few years. Flow rates are within the fishable levels and the spawn is over in most areas.
Fishing reports are sketchy and some guys are battling to get the fish on the hook and in the net. I think it is a temporary thing as traditionally this is the best time of the season, leading into the early autumn when the smallies start moving out of the rapids.
If you are blanking, take a step back and just re-evaluate your tactics. Or take up another hobby until you get your mojo back and the fish start jumping into your landing net.
|Sunset in Dullstroom|
Carl & Keith
Posted by Carl Nicholson at 4:25 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Labels: fly fishing yellowfish, Fly tying, flyfishing, Middle Vaal Fly Fishing Reports, Middle Vaal Reports, Vaal river, Vaal river flies, Vaal river fly fishing, Vaal river flyfishing, Yellowfish flies
|Sedgefield late afternoon fly fishing|
|A magnificent Red Hartebeest bull, Rooipoort|
|Petroglyphs, Rooipoort. Glad they're not in the Vaal anymore.|
The reports I get to see from the middle Vaal are positive. Beginning December the water was still clear, with the moderate rainfall it should remain like that. If you time your trip with decent flows you will fish one of the best pieces of fly fishing water in the world.
|New Year Milkyway|
Carl & Keith
Posted by Carl Nicholson at 7:50 AM